Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Builth and district
in Victorian times
  The bridge over the River Irfon  

This picture is taken from a Victorian tourist postcard of the River Irfon at Builth Wells. The caption on the picture calls it a "Swing Bridge" but it was really a suspension bridge. It was erected in 1839 to give visitors to the town a shorter route over the river to get to Park Wells.
There probably weren't many proper swing bridges around in 1839, but they work by making part of the bridge over a waterway swing out of the way to let large boats or ships pass by !

"Swing Bridge"
over the
River Irfon
Postcard of suspension bridge

This suspension bridge was first built over the River Usk at the Glanusk Estate near Crickhowell, and rebuilt in Builth in 1839. It needed major repair work in 1868, but then remained in use until 1983 when it was replaced by an attractive new bridge.

This is typical of the souvenir postcards which were sold in large numbers to visitors. They were made from black and white photographs which were then carefully coloured by hand with special inks. These cards often look strange when compared to the wonderful colour photographs which can be produced so easily today, but they were very popular holiday souvenirs.

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